CHP to DavutoIlu: Who ordered removal of critical media from Turksat

Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrikulu has asked Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu who gave the order for the removal of channels critical of the government, namely Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk, from the state-owned Turkish Satellite Communications Company (Tandurksat).
Reports in the Turkish media stated earlier in October that the board of directors at Tandurksat sent a message to Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk, giving them until the end of the month to remove their platforms from its infrastructure and warning the channels that their subscriptions will not be renewed as of November.
The move, considered by many as the silencing of free and independent media by the government, has been heavily criticized by opposition deputies and media freedom aocates.
In his questionnaire, Tanrikulu asked, and”Is the removal of Kanaltandurk and Bugandun TV from the Tandurksat satellite not a blow to freedom of the media and expression [in Turkey]?and”
Tanrikulu also asked what the legal basis for the removal of the two channels is.
He continued, and”Is the removal of Kanaltandurk and Bugandun TV from the Tandurksat satellite a step towards the desire of the government to monopolize the media in Turkey?and”
Recently emerged video footage that was taken before a live interview with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in February revealed that Mustafa Varank, one of Erdoganand’s aisers and a Tandurksat board member, urged a minister at the time to drop critical TV stations from the platform.
The backstage footage, published by the Cumhuriyet daily on Saturday, shows Varank chatting with journalists Hilal Kaplan, Akif Beki, Saadet Oruandc and Mahmut andOvandur before their interview with Erdogan that was aired by the state-run broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) on Feb. 2.
He is heard telling the journalists that he had told then-Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Landutfi Elvan that TV stations close to the Gandulen movement, a grassroots social initiative inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gandulen, should be dropped from Tandurksat, but that Elvan had refused to do so fearing public pressure.
Inquiring about the video footage, Tanrikulu wrote in the questionnaire, and”Is the video footage of Feb. 2, 2015 not evidence that the removal of Kanaltandurk and Bugandun TV from the Tandurksat satellite is a political move?and”
Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk were forced to end their broadcasts on Wednesday after trustees appointed by a controversial court were accompanied by riot police to the headquarters of Koza ipek Holding, the parent company of both channels.
The takeover of Koza ipek Holdingand’s 22 companies, including critical TV stations Bugandun TV, Kanaltandurk and two newspapers, comes just days before Turkey is set to have a snap parliamentary election on Nov. 1.